Tank Ride – Tamborine/Jimboomba

 There had to come a day where Hubby & another family member, cashed in the Gift vouchers to partake in the tank ride experience.

Today was the day.  Heading off on a Sunday drive, we meandered our way to the tank ride location, not too far from Waterford.

We were met with a very enthusiastic, Tim Wood, who checked off the booking and explained there were a few to come, but we were all welcome to explore the ranks outside, without climbing over or on them.  Why not, what a great opportunity to take a few photos.   Fascinating to see the different tanks, including this bridge layer, lurking under a tarp on Tims property.    I have to mention here, that Tim not only welcomed those who were booked in for the experience, spectators and those just along for the ride, were also most wrlcome to explore these tanks.   It’s not often you come across an experience where the spectators are also welcome.   Well done to Tim for keeping this as an outing suitable for families or couples, even if only one person is actually partaking in the exoerience.  Much appreciated.  

 After  checking out the different tanks, it was time to head to the shed where a most knowledgable and eager Tim, shared his love of tanks.  Again spectators were welcome.  Tim shared his history with tanks, including his transition from champion bmx rider to the proud owner of these big steel tanks.

Knowing this is someone who repeats this experience over and over continually, it was quite refreshing to find Tim to be such a genuine person, who could retell these stories, without sounding dull and repetitive.  His audience was drawn in to his enthusiasm, all listening, without the usual signs of boredom.  Tim has a  system that works and he should be commended for this.  Keep up that natural enthusiasm Tim, it really does make a big difference to the whole exoerience. 

For those wondering what facilities are available, there are toilets, plus a free water filter,  ((not chilled) and bottled water for $1.    

After the informative session, it was time to head outside and listen to Tim explain the different types of tanks.  Once finished, everyone was invited to climb on and explore this intriguing equipment.   After this, the group who had booked the experience, were divided into two for the tank rides.    Spectators were most welcome to take photos of their mates partaking in their experience. 
I for one, was quite surprised at the speed of this tank as it thundered round the track.  Dust and exhaust fumes billowing behind.  Apparently, the ride was quite smooth as compared to what the participants expected. You wonder how when you see a photo like this!   However, I can assure you, this experience was most enjoyed, not only by our group, but by other participants who included young children.   Most definitely keep this  one in mind.  A great gift, quite a unique experience for the big and little kids at heart.  Thank you Tim, this day was greatly enjoyed by all of your happy, somewhat dusty, participants and spectators!

 

Rod Stewart – The Hits, 2015 Tour

Beginning our evening at Stars Restaurant, located in Brisbanes Entertainment Centre, allowed us to enjoy some quiet time with our own table, away from the herds and masses gathering for the Rockin’ Rod concert.

Here you not only enjoy a two course meal, you have the added benefit of full table service.  No linung up at the bar, struggling to carry drinks or food, and losing half of them before you reach your final destination.

 

This rack of lamb was well enjoyed by hubby, one of the choices for mains on the set menu.  After enjoying a wonderful, long dinner, with fantastic, friendly service, it was time to make our way to the seats for tonight’s concert.

James Reyne kicked off the evening with some fabulous music, including Australian Crawl covers and of course, his finale, When Boys Light Up.

After the interval it was time for the energetic antics, paired with the raspy voice, of Rod Stewart.   Never one to disappoint, Rod threw the microphone round his body like he was ribbon dancing, whilst bouncing around the stage like an energiser battery.   I only hope to be as agile as Rod is when I reach 70.   Very impressive.

This show is about The Hits.  After all Rod has had plenty over the years.  Accompanied by his talented musicians with instruments including violin, harp, drums, even his own small orchestea for some songs, Rod belted out his hits, to the delight and enjoyment of the crowd.  Singing and waving, the hit hungry audience, joined Rod on his journey of songs.

 Snappily dressed as always, Rod changed through his suits, including the yellow jacket, and sparkling sparkling suit, whilst his on stage companions, rocked on, resplendent in their own eye catching attire.

  

Having a Party, It’s a Heartache, You Wear it Well, followed by Tonight’s the Night.   From rocker to crooner, Rod had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.  Moving through his set, Rythym of My Heart was dedicated to the armed forces with the video finishing with a tribute to Australia & New Zealand’s Anzacs.  Now if you didn’t shed a tear here, then you must be tough.   This tribute to the Anzacs was definitely well appreciated by all the crowd.

The new song he wrote three years ago, Time, was a fitting tribute to his father Bob who loved Rods, never give up attitude.

Forever Young, You’re in my Heart, Sailing, Maggie May, amongst many other hits, before the final encore, Do ya think I’m Sexy.   Gathering by the reaction of the elderly ladies nearby, I think they thought he was.   This song was the one Rod Stewart himself had said never expected to be singing at this age, or even close to it. 

Judging by the performance, Rod had a lot of concerts left in him yet.  One wonders how far it he will take.  Rock on Rod. 👍😄

The High Tea Party – Breast Cancer Awareness/Fundraiser



Last year our group attended the High Tea Party at the Hilton Hotel.  For 2015 we decided to try the VIP experience.  After all, the proceeds go towards beating breast cancer.    This years package, included a cap of  100 people in a our private room, instead of the huge crowd we were seated amongst last year.  To be fair,  this was the main reason we had decided to try the VIP  p.

Our beautifully presented table sporting bubbles, goodie bag packed with sponsor gifts and fine china settings, was eye catching.   This year was definitely looking like an upgrade on last year.   The added benefit of only a few tables in the room was a bonus.

Upon our arrival, we set about checking out the stalls near the main ballroom area at Brisbanes Hilton Hotel.  We were quick to secure our bubbly, compliments of Jacobs Creek, before embarking on a stall exploration.   Plenty to see, with pamper stalls along the way.   

Wine in hand, we strolled through the area, looking a lot different by the time we emerged to head up to our VIP private room.  New eyebrows, eyelash extensions, painted nails, there was a seeming endless  list of free pampering.   The staff we spoke to in the different stalls were friendly, full of information, and happy to answer questions on their products.  Beauty product, accessories, jewellery, clothing, tea, juices, foods, the number of businesses represented here was mind bogling.



Tucked in the back corner of one room, we came across a natural vodka tasting.  The printed sample box on display touted this vodka as being for the “intelligent drinker”.  How did they know?. 😄.    Since this was obviously meant for us, we soon found ourselves seated around a tasting table.  Here we were introduced to the delights of some wonderful vodka varieties.  Our presenter gave us a very informative run down on the history of their vodka.



As the stall area started to fill up, we chose to head up for our VIP sitting, now relaxed, happy and feeling a little glammed up.  

We were directed through to our private areas to await the arrival of our high tea. 



Tea was delivered by the wait staff, along with the tiered food plates, proudly displaying delectable delights.  Our group enjoyed the high tea sitting, although a number of us were disappointed not to be part of the fashion parade we had witnessed in the grand ballroom at the normal sitting last year.  Here, beautiful, brave cancer sufferers, parade the catwalk, showing off some fabulous garments.  To us the heart wrenching fashion parade, brought home the reason for this high tea. Perhaps there was something we weren’t made aware of, however without the parade, there was really not a lot else which gave this day a special meaning.   The VIP package, did feel like a fabulous day  of pampering and catching up with the girls, but just lacked that special meaning.   

Something to keep in mind if you are trying to decide which package to try.  All in all though, this is a fantastic  day out, for a worthwhile cause.  Treat yourself sometime, and know you have participated in helping to raise funds to fight breast cancer.   The high tea party Australia  is on in your capital city, at some time every year.  Keep any eye out for the ticket sales.

Eagles Concert – The history of the Eagles, Brisbane 2015 Tour



Music, bared back without the drama, showmanship  or fanfare, this is the presentation for an Eagles concert.   Our second Eagles concert, certainly not disappointing and definitely enjoyed by all.  Along with Roger Waters & Pink Floyd,  the Eagles are the only other band we have seen who play a full 3 hour concert, including an interval, no room for support acts here!

We have attended many concerts, across a broad range of genre.   An Eagles concert cannot be compared to other musicians.  Their concerts are about the music.

Casually dressed, and looking like they have just strolled in off the street, Timothy B still sporting his trademark hair, (albeit a little greyer now and complete with goatee), the Eagles arrived to wow their fans.   This band is tight, having played together for so long.  Since 1971, when the band started, through to today, their music is iconic across five decades.   Even though they did split for a while, their music has never lost popularity.

A request from the Eagles, was that smartphones be off and no videos recorded.   Never before have I witnessed a packed Entertainment Centre where the crowd has so much respect for the band, they have complied.  

Our seats gave us an overview of most of the seating areas.   To witness a crowd this large sitting, and simply drinking in the music proved the popularity of this band.   Apart from the odd heckler in between songs, the crowd maintained a silence, drinking in every aspect of the music and atmosphere, until breaking out in ear shattering applause at the end or beginning of each song.  Respect.  The Eagles asked for that, and they were given it, in bucket loads.

People stayed in their seats, not standing and blocking others behind then, but sitting which ensured everyone had the opportunity to soak up every note of the music performance.   There were a lot of people singing along in parts, but not loud enough to be heard over the sound of the band.   If you had gone home and put on an Eagles DVD, you wouldn’t know the difference between that and the live show most of the time.

The narration by the band, of their history, was delivered in short bouts between songs, and interjected with numerous quips.   

Guitars were changed at the end of songs, with a multitude of different guitars, and the banjo, used in the performance.   Not only were they used, these instruments were brought to life by some very talented musicians.

Seated and starting with the slower sets, they moved onto standing up as the first half progressed.    Some of the best, most well known songs were saved for the encores.   Clever lighting displays also came into play as the intensity of the music increased.

In answer to the Eagles own question, they first asked in 1979, “who is gonna make it, we’ll find out, in the long run….”    There’s no doubt about that one, it’s the Eagles.

Gold Class – Event Cinemas

Have you ever wondered what Gold Class movies are about, perhaps considered the experience, but just weren’t sure if it was worth while? Here’s a little insight on what happens.

After receiving gift vouchers last Christmas for Gold Class, we waited for a good movie to check out. Anytime there was a good movie, we were committed elsewhere, however, finally within a few days of the vouchers expiring, we booked into Gold Class at Chermside.

IMG_2482-0.JPG
It’s probably been about 18 months since we last attended Gold Class. Very refreshing to see new seats installed in the theatre which attributed to lingering smell of new leather. Seats are huge, allowing you to recline back with your feet up, or curl up if you so wish. There’s a generous wooden table between each pair of seats, with plenty of room between rows and other patrons. This isn’t anything like the normal cinema where everyone sits right next to each, with barely enough elbow room. Yes you do pay more for Gold Class, however, if you’re after a relaxing experience with drinks and food delivered to your seat, then this is the place to be.

IMG_2481.JPG
Upon entry into the Gold a Class lounge, you show your entry tickets at the bar to receive menus. Now you need to decide what you would like delivered through the movie. There are now two deliveries made throughout the movie. These can be food, drinks or both. You may decide to have an entree or a main, perhaps a platter or dessert. Be warned though, you are eating in the dark, leave the white clothes at home!

We have usually found most dishes to be a reasonably sized serving. Yes desserts we ordered for instance were expensive, however they are for two and take some getting through. If you’re not wanting to spend this much on food, then perhaps eat before you go and simply enjoy a couple of relaxing drinks or coffees throughout your movie.

IMG_2480.JPG
We started with a Catching Fire cocktail and a Whiskey Sour. Highly recommended, both of them! A couple of deliveries throughout the movie were did arrive as ordered, drinks and dessert. Only when the banana sundae arrived, did I remember why I don’t order those runny chocolate dishes in Gold Class. They are so what challenging to eat in the dark! Oops, too late…..!

Gold class is most likely going to be somewhere you go to treat yourself it a regular experience. Therefore, sit back, relax and enjoy. You deserve this 👍.

Good Food & Wine Show – Brisbane

Designed to tempt everyone’s tastebuds, from those who eat and maybe enjoy a tipple or two, through to the food buff or wine connoisseur, the Good Food & Wine Show has it all. Purchasing tickets at a reasonably priced $26 each, whets your appetite with the anticipation of what these sought after entry tickets, will provide.

For three days, dedicated businesses manned and operated their stalls out of the Brisbane Convention Centre, all in aid of the promotion and marketing for their products. With a broad cross range including, large companies, family enterprises and Mum & Dad businesses represented, the variety of choice is simply impressive.

IMG_2306.JPG
Vibrant colours adorned food vans, stalls and food areas. More formal settings were a part of the different regions set up throughout the hall. Here, you could take your tastebuds and palate on a trip around Australia, or the world, without leaving the convention centre.

IMG_2307.JPG
If you have ever wondered what some of those different foods out there taste like, then this was the place to be. I would be very surprised to find anyone who couldn’t find something here to suit their tastes, or test a little something out of their comfort zone. The variety of tastings on trial is overwhelmingly mouthwatering, creating the initial first problem for the day – where to start??

Our group attended early in the morning which was definitely a good idea. At this time of day, there was plenty of room to move with the added plus of happy stall holders, refreshed and keen to talk to you about their products. As the morning progressed, alley ways started to fill with potential product testers, and some counters became a little harder to access.

Chatting with some fabulously interesting people from an assortment of areas, learning about their products, was both enlightening and a superb way to spend a weekend morning. I had a wonderful chat to a Father & Son about the family Lychee Farm in Hervey Bay, tasted a delightful probiotic gingerbeer, sampled organic melt in the mouth cheeses, oils, balsamic vinegars, yoghurts, chilli products, chocolate vodka and an array of wines. Helpful James at Wine Selectors, took us on a private tour of Australia, with his selection of wine tastings from different regions. Most enjoyable all round!

The majority of stall holders were happy to take treat you to tastings while taking the time to chat about their wares, without pushing their products. In fact, we only came across one young lady who was a little too insistent at trying to sell one of their product show bags. Everyone else was fantastic. The win for them was we did purchase their products after partaking of some interesting tastings.

As we progressed through the maze of alleyways, one did start to feel like a pack horse. Bag went into bag, which was usually already inside another bag. Yes great idea, less bags to carry but the couple you do have become progressively heavier. A neat little solution was raised, with stall holders offering to hold our bottles and purchases from their stall to one side, with us collecting them before we left the show. The only problem with this solution, remembering where you had left bags 😄. We did clear this hurdle though, with a well spent ten minutes at the end, collecting our shopping. It was about now, we realised how much we had brought!
(A very small selection only, in this next photo)!

IMG_2308.JPG
This time round, we simply wandered the walkways without any plan of attack, and did not partake in any of the classes, masterclasses and demonstrations on offer. We will keep that for next year!

This event occurs in different states throughout the year, be sure to keep an eye out for advertising. Most certainly worth a visit. See you there next year!

MythBusters- Behind the Myths Tour

IMG_1860.JPG
“Failure is always an option”. Adam Savage’s quote, given to his crew, embroidered on caps, as Christmas gifts, has become a MythBusters war cry. The variety contained within their TV series has been extensive, to say the least.

These guys have tested many myths from putting a bull in a china shop (not a real china shop), to trying to work out escape methods from a drowning car, blowing up machinery, even exploding pants, and making a balloon out of lead. Their fan base ranges from wide eyed children through to the more mature kids who cackle delightedly at antics of the MythBusters, all secretly wishing they could have a crack at one, just one experiment. I am quite sure the instruction of “don’t try this at home”, actually interprets as ” don’t’ you wish you could do this..? “. Each time Jamie or Adam issue this instruction, I see a gleam in my husbands eye as he muses over a way he can do it.. ..it’s just the getting away with it part that stumps him…….

IMG_1841.JPG
Jamie Hyneman, sporting his trademark handle bar moustache and beret, stood firmly on the stage. His mainly monotone voice, is synonymous with this show . Adam has compared him to a walrus on a couple occasions, even showing side by side clips of a walrus and Jamie swimming, with a lot of similarity! Adam is the outgoing, excitable half of the duo. Talking with his hands while Jamie maintains his solid position.

Jamie, reveals during the show, he was the one chosen to do this series. His feeling was he would be boring, causing people to tune out, so he decided to think about who he knew, that he could work with, and had a personality. Adam was his choice. Together they make up the iconic, original Mythbusters team.

As stated by Jamie, ” That’s what we do on Mythbusters, we blow crap up.”

Beneath the frivolity, big bangs, explosions, hilarity and inflicting pain on each other, lies a woven mat of science . Not only do the Mythbusters bust the myths we have all wondered about, they teach the world science through their sometimes outrageous experiments. But they still enjoy blowing things up, with some pretty spectacular bangs, including exploding a concrete truck.

During the show, the subwoofers were turned up to maximum to create the bass for their clip on explosions and big bangs. Bodies shook involuntarily, eardrums bounced, walls waved, and I’m sure some show patrons even bit their tongues! All this from the big booms travelling throughout the theatre. We had now established the subwoofers worked!

IMG_1830.JPG
This group of intrepid fellows, were the first volunteers onto the stage. Something they probably should have regretted, if it weren’t for the excitement of being on stage with their idols. These four started sitting on chairs before lying back onto each other’s knees. The chairs were removed and waving like a conductor, Adam orchestrated the moves of the interlocked group to walk sideways and even start to turn in a circle. The relief upon the volunteers faces when they were allowed to collapse, was very evident!

The combination of hilarity, dryness, science and opposing personalities, drew all of the audience in. Jamie’s monotone is somehow mesmerising, and the entire show was definitely a hit.

Volunteers were eager to be called onto the stage to participate, others were disappointed that the waivers they grasped at the end if their extended arms whenever volunteers were requested, didn’t earn them a free pass to the stage. Even those who didn’t make the stage, still thoroughly enjoyed the show.

In true MythBuster style, the show wound up with a bang. As they were not permitted to blow things up in the convention centre, Jamie & Adam resorted to paintball. One poor guy was clad in the iron suit used by the MythBusters when they tested shark theories. A huge screen was wheeled out in front of the stage to protect the audience, with the knight in shining armour, taking his position in the middle.

Adam brandished a massive paintball gun, firing off a couple of shots. Not to be outdone, Jamie disappeared off stage, returning with a massive multi barrelled machine gun on wheels. With an evil laugh he demonstrated the pure power and speed of the paintball machine to the expectant audience. His demonstration was well received and heavily applauded. The light from the gleams in the eyes of this more mature kids, lit up the area. I think I would also be correct in saying, 99% of those in the audience, gasped, cackled and stated ‘I want one!!!” I know my more mature kid, in the shape of my husband did!

All in all a fabulous show. Maybe the reception received in Australia will encourage a return trip. After all, the idea for the show, and the production of all MythBuster Shows, originates in Australia, even though they are filmed in America. A neat fact shared by Jamie which not many people seemed to know.

Happy MythBusting people, enjoy those shows, whilst everyone dreams of owing one of these……

IMG_1854.JPG

Take better photos – Brisbane

Snap happy? Yes have to admit I sort of am. Hence the gift of a photo course- Take Better Photos – travel & landscape. Well now I’ve said I attended this course, you will all be expecting professional photos. Hmmm, on that count I will probably disappoint, however I will admit to learning some pretty neat tricks on this afternoon/evening short course.

IMG_1723.JPG

IMG_1726.JPG
Here’s one example of my newly refined skills. Yes I know, the photo itself is somewhat boring but, this demonstrated the zoom in, zoom out on my little camera.

The beauty of the courses offered by Take Better Photos, you can go back any time you want in the next year to attend the same course with the same camera. That in itself is a bonus, the idea being if you are travelling, take a quick refresher course before you leave. Not a bad idea and good value for money.

Another advantage of these courses, you come away armed with these neat little laminated cheat cards, specifically for your camera.

IMG_1764.JPG
Now some attending, including my daughter who took me along with her, were armed with cameras and attachments of many different lenses. Some of these cameras could almost make you a cuppa, almost. I did say almost 🙂 .

Me being the “iPhone photo opportunity snapper”, had to take a camera to this course, hence our little underwater camera. No extra lenses, it does not know how to make a cuppa- we are working on that, and the case fits in your handbag. At the end of the day, it did not matter what sort of camera you had, the course and our trainer, catered to all. A big plus.

Prior to this course, I thought you just put this camera underwater and snapped away happily hoping to get at least part of a fish in the picture!

PC240044.JPG
Now I know all sorts of fabulous little tricks including how to focus on something close before taking a clear distant photo.

IMG_1715.JPG
Clear as day graffiti – I’m on a roll here ! But seriously, after the sun set it was time to test a new skill. For these shots, we took the little torches clipped to our cheat cards and jumped around like demented idiots in front of our cameras, to take a shot of the light picture we created, without having yourself in the shot.

IMG_1757.JPG
Pretty cool !

End result? Yes I’m happy, however my family now groan every time I whip out the camera for that one opportunist shot. I took the offer of buying the iPhone cheat cards, which I’m still working my way through, but I’m not a pro, just a snap happy amateur who is now armed with some new tips- could be dangerous!

I really would highly recommend these short courses, you will come away with some valuable tips, meet a few new faces and feel somewhat more confident when you aim the camera. As well as travel & landscape, there’s portraits and iPhone camera courses amongst others. Remember to go back in the year, always good to take a refresher.

Watch this space, you never know what photos I may be able to take now. Must admit though to still bring proud of this one….yes here we go again! This one required a trip to Vanuatu + cocktails + sunset + relaxation – work – stress (feeling pretty tipsy), + a quick snap = this photo . Best part of this photo- I actually completely missed the cruise ship I was trying to take a photo of. Now I’m armed with the new knowledge, the next one of these will include said cruise ship.

Check out these courses, thoroughly worthwhile!

IMG_1193.JPG

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

IMG_1562.JPG
This is a once in a lifetime experience . That being said, it is also the reason why I am writing about something we went to about four years ago. I doubt we will be lucky enough to attend this again. However I know there are those out there who will never have the chance to witness this spectacular show for themselves. Especially also given the fact we attended the 60th anniversary Military Tattoo in Sydney, and I believe, the second time only it was performed outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.

I admit though, this is not a show, it is an amazing experience. Especially if you also adore witnessing bagpipes being caressed by their owners to exhale incredible sounds. This is something you either love or hate. Personally, I love bagpipes when they are played too perfection. Marching, precision, beautifully crafted backdrops, heartfelt music, the Tattoo has it all.

IMG_1561.JPG
The Edinburgh Castle backdrop was stunning, providing the perfect backdrop for this amazing combination of marching, music, drumming displays and ultimate precision.

The persistent cold drizzling rain that night, did not in anyway dampen the spirits of those attending. Although admittedly, Sydney did try hard to drench everyone.

IMG_1564.JPG

Comedy through to professional seriousness, the consolidation of everything rolled into this night was fascinating, breathtaking.

This particular blog may not interest you. However if you are keen to witness an incredible spectacular involving many nationalities with more precision than a Swiss watch, then this was the go to event. I believe that now the format has changed, with the main objective to be ensuring a profit rather than showing an amazing combination of skills to an appreciative audience. I do hope this isn’t the case, as this is one of our most unique experiences, ever.

IMG_1560.JPG

Muscle on The Mountain

Fundraising to raise awareness for men’s health by creating a car show event, is certainly an excellent way to reel in a good crowd.

20140706-180857-65337650.jpg</

Whether you are a car enthusiast or are simply interested in looking at some classic cars, this event is a chance to mix, mingle and chat with the vehicle owners.

A gold coin for each person was the total of the entry fee. Men's prostate cancer was the beneficiary of the proceeds for 2014.

The rumble of the big motor's, sparkling mirrored chrome everywhere you look, some amazing paintwork, car interiors which look too good to sit in and the photo opportunities with the car of your dreams. Not a bad way to fill in a Sunday, all for a good cause.

20140706-182524-66324340.jpg

20140706-182934-66574933.jpg

Event was well organised and all the volunteers assisting through the day did a fantastic job. Well done to everyone involved and also for not setting high entry fees. There really isn’t any doubt the small donation entry fee helped contribute to the large numbers of vehicles and spectators.

20140706-183620-66980679.jpg

The Maleny Showgrounds are set in a basin close to the quaint township area of Maleny. Vistas during the drive out are amazing to say the least. Every now and then the Glasshouse Mountains pop into view between trees. In the distance, on the other side of the road, you can see through to the ocean. If nothing else, it’s certainly worth taking a drive out this way, you never know what you may stumble across.